After the brilliant move by Broncos GM Brian Xanders of trading down the 36th pick for more choices, the Broncos were able to procure the 45th and 46th picks from San Francisco. With the 46th pick of the 2011 NFL draft, Denver was able to pick Orlando Franklin of the Miami Hurricanes in order to shore up the RT position in Denver.
Although a couple of things come to mind when evaluating Orlando Franklin, the first thing that comes to mind is the toughness of this choice. He was able to play the entire 2010 season with a torn meniscus muscle, which is in the knee.
During that 2010 season, Franklin played very well, accumulating at least four tackles, and all of them solo. He commented on playing the whole season with a knee injury as well.
"You block it [the knee injury] out because, no matter what, I knew I was going to have to play the whole season with it. So I had to forget about it sooner or later and just do anything I could to become the best football player," he told collegefootballgirl.com.
"It was my last year of college—I couldn’t afford to concentrate on being hurt and mess up what I was trying to get accomplished and help out my teammates."
Another area in which Franklin could be an asset would in his mental abilities. In that same interview with collegefootballgirl.com, he said that he is able to visualize what needs to be accomplished when he is being coached over the phone, and he had a strong ability to "stay at home" when a "stunt" happens against him.
Finally, he has a lot of speed for his size. According to Mocking the Draft, he has "good explosion off of the ball" and can "quickly change direction and react to counter moves."
This is an interesting pick for the Broncos, and I would be remiss if I didn't add a little humor at the end regarding Orlando Franklin. During one of his sprints at the NFL combine, he wore some very "hot pink" running shoes! When asked about that, he said that he was given them by his agent, and that they were the lightest pair he had.
That fact also speaks to his pragmatism regarding the game of football. My gut feeling is that this guy will do anything he can to help the team win. So, another good pick by the Broncos.
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